by REAGAN MOTSINGER - Feb. 7, 2019
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and that means the return of holiday traditions. Yes, I mean all of them. The candy hearts, red roses, boxes of chocolates, cards plastered with enormous frilly hearts, little Cupids shooting heart-tipped arrows all over the place and, of course, red and pink everything.
This may induce some cringing from a lot of you. Maybe you think Valentine’s Day is silly, stupid, sentimental, entirely pointless or just another chance for stores to make some extra money.
But what if it weren’t?
Let’s face it: our world can be a very negative place, with people disagreeing over all sorts of issues. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, so why can’t we let it be that and appreciate the heart of the holiday? (See what I did there?) Not to mention the fact that Indiana weather is cold, dark, and unpredictable. Look at our recent temperatures. Valentine’s Day, if taken for what it originally was and not what it is in some people’s eyes, can bring metaphorical light and warmth to our lives in this dreary winter. Like most holidays in America, it has developed a massive commercial market, but that’s beside the point. Let’s stop focusing on the disgust the world has developed for the holiday and instead rediscover all of its positive attributes.
If you’re in a relationship, I’m going to run with the assumption that you do something for the holiday, even if it’s just small. But this isn’t just a day for the couples out there. In the spirit of “Galentine’s” or “Palentine’s” Day, it’s also an opportunity for us to show appreciation to our friends and other important people that we care about. Lots of people celebrate friendship on Valentine’s Day. Other countries, such as Finland, Estonia and Mexico, have their own unique traditions for the holiday. In Japan, girls give obligatory, non-romantically affiliated chocolates to their guy friends, adding homemade gifts to the candies if the relationship is romantic. (Then the guys return the favor a month later.) German celebrations are not particularly commercialized, and they go beyond the traditional gifts.
They give pigs--symbols of luck--in the form of chocolates, statues or any way they see fit. Some countries have separate holidays later in the year specifically for friendship, romance or singleness, depending on how they spend Feb. 14.
Plus, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to do fun things. This may be buying into the commercialism, but sometimes it’s fun to dress up for the day, go someplace good for dinner, give other people presents, maybe even receive some gifts yourself….
Maybe this is just me over-romanticizing (pun intended) the idea, but what can I say? I love love, and I look at the bright side of things. Let’s stop hating on the holiday and take it for what it is: a chance to celebrate all the great relationships we have in our lives.
Want to see the other side? Check out Valentine's Day: Not to Be